Strade Bianche 2018: Favourites

michal kwiatkowski 2017 - Strade Bianche 2018: FavouritesStrade Bianche is a fascinating mix of unpaved roads and short steep climbs. It doesn't happen often that both strong climbers and Classics specialists are among the favourites in the same race, but in the modern Classic in Toscany it is an obvious fact. Cyclingstage.com brings you the major contenders to win the 2018 Strade Bianche. (Slideshow route/profile)

It is safe to say Michal Kwiatkowski is the expert when it comes to winning the Strade Bianche. The Pole – still only 27 years of age – is the only rider in the peloton to win the race twice. Other names still racing who took the honours in Tuscany are Aleksandr Kolobnev (2007, inaugural edition), Philippe Gilbert (2011), Moreno Moser (2013) and Zdenek Stybar (2015). Kwiatkowski did win the race in 2014 and 2017.

The Strade Bianche is famous for its dirt roads, often on sharp climbs. In 2018, the riders face eleven ‘sterrati’, which amounts to 63 kilometres on unpaved roads. The race totals 184 kilometers and the finale in Siena is a steep cobbled climb with ramps up to 16%.

The race is a war of attrition and it is wearing any rider out. Last year Michal Kwiatkowski, Greg Van Avermaet, Tim Wellens, Zdenek Stybar, Tom Dumoulin, Luke Durbridge and Christopher Juul-Jensen were the last remaining riders after the last gravel sector. Kwiatkowski attacked with 16 kilometres to go and initially no one responded. Then Van Avermaet, Wellens and Stybar tried to chase the former world Champion down, but to no avail.

Favourites 2018 Strade Bianche

*** Michal Kwiatkowski, Greg Van Avermaet, Peter Sagan
** Tom Dumoulin, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Philippe Gilbert
* Moreno Moser, Jasper Stuyven, Vincenzo Nibali, Primoz Roglic, Tiesj Benoot

Strade Bianche 2018: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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